Sakshi Malik grabbed her first international gold medal in nearly five years at the UWW Ranking Series event in Kazakhstan on Friday. The 2014 Rio Olympics wrestling bronze medallist Sakshi Malik was not bothered about her recent struggles and performed fearlessly and confidently to claim the gold.
Sakshi had been failing to perform well till the recent CWG trials and was frequently losing to young Sonam Malik in the 62kg category and could not even qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games but on Friday she looked completely transformed as she fought her battles with utmost aggressiveness and confidence. The last time she won gold was in the 2017 Commonwealth Championship, even though she won two bronze medals at the Asian Championships in 2020 and 2022.
Her win started because of technical superiority against Kazakhstan’s Irina Kuznetsova, and later, she won big with a 9-3 win over Uzbekistan’s Rushana Abdirasulova.
As Mongolia’s Tserenchimed Sukhee lost out on her semifinal, Sakshi entered the final, where she held down Kuznetsova while leading 7-4, defeating the wrestler for the second time in the day. What stood out most was Sakshi’s double leg attacks and quickness, hardly giving any loose chances to her rivals.